Recipe of the Week | Pepita Mexican Chocolate Cake | Tandem Midwifery

Pepita-Mexican Chocolate Cake

(Pastel de Pepitas y Chocolate from Rick Bayless)

It is closing in on Valentine's Day and maybe you are looking for that sweet treat to share with your loved ones. This delicious cake is a new favorite of mine. Months ago I was watching Rick Bayless on his cooking show One Plate at a Time as he put together this delicious cake and knew it'd be a household favorite. The next day the cake was warm from the oven and Jayme & I ate it with coffee over brunch. I have also made it gluten free twice by substituting a Bob's Red Mill Gluten free flour (and once made it with chickpea flour!).

I hope you will enjoy this delectable, rich and unique cake. It is quick to make and might not last too long on Valentine's Day...


  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter slightly softened and cut into ½ -inch pieces, plus another tablespoon for greasing the pan
  • 1 3/4cups toasted & salted pumpkinseeds (divided use)
  • 1cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar (divided use)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/3cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4teaspoon baking powder
  • 1tablespoon tequila (optional)
  • 1/2cup (about 3 ounces) Mexican chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons powder sugar


Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and turn it on to 350 degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch cake pan, then line the bottom with a round of parchment paper cut to fit the bottom and slather it with more butter (about a tablespoon). Sprinkle ½ cup of the pumpkin seeds in an even layer on the bottom of the pan, then sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the sugar. Set aside.

Measure the remaining 1 ¼ cups of the pumpkin seeds and 1 cup of the sugar into a food processor. Pulse the machine until the seeds are pulverized and resemble damp sand. Add the eggs and the 4 ounces of butter and pulse until everything is incorporated. Add the flour, baking powder and tequila and pulse again, just until everything is combined.

Chop the chocolate into pea-sized pieces and add it to the batter. Pulse until the chocolate is mixed in. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Let the cake cool for ten minutes, then unmold it onto a platter, remove the parchment paper, sprinkle top with powdered sugar and serve.